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Topic: What's a "Cozy"?

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Subject: What's a "Cozy"?
Date Posted: 1/12/2009 3:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 74
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I just joined and listed a bunch of mysteries.  Can anyone define a "cozy" for me?  I thought I understood what it was, then I read a post that called Dorothy Sayers a cozy, which I wouldn't have.  So maybe I don't understand :)  Thanks!

Date Posted: 1/12/2009 7:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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Cozy basically means different things to different people. Mostly, it means no graphic violence, graphic sex, (I always say the sex and violence happens "off stage") very few and mild four-letter words, no graphic descriptions of crime scenes and such. It's not really a "thriller" per se, usually the sleuth is an amateur (but not always--there are cozy police series like Rhys Bowen's Evan Evans, M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth, etc.) and often they have a specific business or craft that the reader can learn something about, too, like cooking, knitting, pottery, herbalist, book shop owner, etc. Usually the characters are the central focus, and the plot in these is often weak--at least, I usually know whodunit by about page 50 with most cozies. LOL They are usually shorter, lighter reading, not too intense.

That's how I think of them, anyway. I've never read any Dorothy Sayers so have no idea how I'd classify them. (gasp!)

Cheryl

 

Date Posted: 1/12/2009 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Victoria, here's a link that might help you:

http://www.cozy-mystery.com/

 

Date Posted: 1/12/2009 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 74
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Thanks!  Your description, Cheryl, is what I thought they were, what someone described in another thread as "oops, I found a body--now I'll withhold evidence from the police and solve it while I run a tea shoppe/knit a sweater/organize a cat adoption bazaar."  As you can tell, I'm not a huge fan of those, either!

Dorothy Sayers' sleuth is an amateur, but otherwise I wouldn't consider her books in the same category.  They're classic British Golden Age mysteries, Agatha Christie vintage but more literary. 

I just posted my first bunch of books--all mysteries--and I'm really looking forward to swapping books!